Title: Propagated delay estimation and its use in the development of an effective aircraft ground delay strategy

Authors: Sameer Balkrishna Naik, Rajan Batta

Addresses: Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo (SUNY), 438 Bell Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA. ' Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo (SUNY), 438 Bell Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA

Abstract: This paper provides an improved method of estimating Propagated Delay (PD), and uses these estimates to consider a version of the ground delay problem that takes into account equipment and crew interactions. We start by developing expressions for PD for various weather-inflicted scenarios. We then use PD as a surrogate cost in the formulation of the assignment model to solve the ground delay problem. We do this by segregating all incoming and outgoing flights into three independent categories, based on how crew and equipment are split over the outgoing flight legs. An assignment model for the allocation of arrival slots to incoming flights is then developed. This formulation includes cubic, quadratic and linear assignments. A solution methodology using a Simulated Annealing (SA) meta-heuristic is proposed. The model and its solution procedure are statistically tested for various ground delay instances. Our major conclusions are first that PD without accounting for equipment and crew interactions can result in poor delay estimates for aircraft, and second that overall delay can be well controlled by judicious slot assignments in a ground holding situation by taking these delay estimates into account.

Keywords: delay estimation; aircraft scheduling; weather effect modelling; delay propagation; equipment; crew interaction; ground delay; assignment models; flight slot allocation; arrival slots; simulated annealing; incoming flights; air travel; operational research.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOR.2007.011440

International Journal of Operational Research, 2007 Vol.2 No.1, pp.1 - 25

Available online: 30 Nov 2006 *

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